Ok, well maybe not just another Wednesday, infact, it was completely out of the ordinary for a Wednesday, but it was rather awesome! I was on the guestlist to go to the Wired Store on Wednesday, to see Tokyo Police Club perform, which was a lot of fun, but I was also on the list to go to a lot of other places too, so I wanted to make sure I made the right decision. It would turn out I did.
I arrived at the Tokyo Police Club show with an assortment of new friends, and after figuring out the door and list situation it was time to get some free Bushmills! The conversation with my new friends was so great that we ended up missing almost the entire set from the opening act, a band I don't know even up to now. It turned out that one of their members was a really nice guy we met and talked to in the bathroom line! I feel like a bit if a hack for not listening to them and writing a music blog, but I suppose this section is about Tokyo Police Club. In my defense, the Wired Store is 3 floors of cool stuff to play with, its like a toy store for adults. We decided to venture downstairs, where there were video games and a foosball table to play with. We stayed down here and played said video games and foosball for a while. The downstairs area had music playing, so we just assumed it was coming from upstairs. This was not the case. In fact, it took the good ears of a friend I was with to alert me to the fact that there was someone on stage performing while we were playing X-box. We ran upstairs to find out that it was indeed the Tokyo Police Club, the act I went there to see.
They didn't disappoint, just like I thought they wouldn't, despite the fact that I'm not very familiar with their songs, and I've never seen them perform before. Their sound is cool, new age punk and pop rock, but not cutesy, its a very mature sound. Their tracks are a bit Weezerish, which I thoroughly enjoy. After a decent set, they brought out Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu, and he did their song that they have together. I'd never seen Matisyahu live prior to Wednesday night, but I thought he may have been more hyped on stage. Maybe it was the fact that the stage wasn't very big that kept him rather stationary. I guess it was only one song too, it being their last song before the end of the private event. This of course was where my night became challenging.
There were so many things to do Wednesday night that I wanted to make sure I made the best decision. This is funny because usually Wednesday is the day I usually have the least amount of social events going on. There was a big hiphop show at Santos Party house, with an assortment of artists performing, including Cory Gunz, Freddie Gibbs and Aloe Blacc. I was told by a couple friends of mine to check out Aloe Blacc, apparently he has a really great sound. I could have went right after the TPC event at Wired. I decided to take a different route, but not that different.
The Roots were having their Christmas show at BB King's, and I was told by even more people that this yearly show is a great one, not to be missed, especially if you've never seen The Roots perform, which I hadn't, until Wednesday. In hindsight, this was possibly the best decision I've made all year!
At first it didn't seem that way, having to stand on line in the blistering cold for like an hour outside before being let in. I don't even know what was taking them so long! When we finally got into the very warm surroundings of BB King's (a place I've also never been to) I was greeted by the one Rahzel, beatbox extraordinaire. After talking to him for a minute we headed downstairs and found a nice spot by the stage. After some early warm from the DJs, the band affectionally known as The Legendary Roots Crew took the stage (tuba player and all). They played on their lead vocalist, Black Thought, who took the stage then grabbed a mic, and just did track after track without a break. After a few songs in a row he called out his new best friend John Legend, and they did a few tracks off their new combination album. Legend's voice is basically the same as on record, that unique sort of smoky sound that makes you think of the best crooners, if they did soul music of course. John called out his friend Estelle, who did a couple songs, one with The Roots and American Boy. Estelle then made way for the huge surprise of the night, the incomporable Patty Labelle! Truthfully speaking, she only did 2 songs (yes one of those songs was Lady Marmalade) but I honestly could have left afterwards. She's commands a presence on stage that only the great ones have, so that even a 2 song performance makes you feel like you got your money's worth, even though the show was free.
Ms. Labelle is now part of the cast of Fela, so it was a great segue into the Fela performers coming onstage and doing what they do best, dance. At this point the staged was filled with people: horns section, drums and dancers and not to mention The Roots were still on stage as well. After the Fela portion of the show, Black Thought decided to bring out more hiphop artists, to the tune of Chitty Bang, a young group who I believe are also from Philly, but I may be wrong. They rocked for a little bit before Black Thought took over again. There were so many people coming out it was hard to keep track of everyone. Even Yelawolf came out and did "Pop the Trunk" before he made way for another artist. Also in the legends category was Melvin van Peebles, who did his funk thing with a little participation from the crowd. I left BB King's when Black Thought was trying to figure out who to bring out next, it was 2:30am at that point! This was an amazing and exhausting show, one that I surely will not miss if I'm in NYC next yeat around Christmas time, and you definitely shouldn't miss it either.